Scientific References

Peer-reviewed research papers discussing the antimicrobial properties of copper-based metals

Here is a library of published papers and conference posters covering the laboratory and clinical studies conducted on the antimicrobial characteristics of solid copper and copper alloys over the last 20 years.  Some papers are accessible here as pdfs, others have links to entries in various scientific libraries where full papers can be accessed via a subscription or for a cost.

If you have a paper to suggest we include here, please contact Marleine Williams, Project Co-ordinator, Copper Development Association.

Browse the entire list or use the category filters below.


Subscribe to News RSS
The Antimicrobial Effects of Copper Alloy Surfaces on the Bacterium, E. coli 0157:H7
H T Michels, S A Wilks and C W Keevil, Proceedings of Copper 2003 - Cobre 2003, The 5th International Conference, November 30-December 2, 2003, Santiago, Chile, Vol. 1 - Plenary Lectures, Economics and Applications of Copper, pp. 439-450

Investigates the viability of E. coli O157:H7 on 25 copper alloy surfaces at 20C and 4C (refrigeration temperature).  Bacteria reduction occurred with all alloys and was faster at the higher temperature and on alloys containing higher levels of copper.  Further research is recommended to determine copper's effect on moulds and other organisms that cause respiratory infections.

A Publication of The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 2003.

Doorknobs: a source of nosocomial infection?
P J Kuhn, Diagnostic Medicine, 1983.

Discusses the unique bactericidal properties of copper and brass compared to stainless steel and aluminum against various organisms.  Results suggest that hospitals should utilise brass (copper alloy) hardware to minimise bacterial growth on these surfaces.

Copper and copper alloys are engineering materials that are durable, colourful and recyclable and are widely available in various product forms suitable for a range of manufacturing purposes. Copper and its alloys offer a suite of materials for designers of functional, sustainable and cost-effective products.

Copper and certain copper alloys have intrinsic antimicrobial properties (so-called ‘Antimicrobial Copper’) and products made from these materials have an additional, secondary benefit of contributing to hygienic design. Products made from Antimicrobial Copper are a supplement to, not a substitute for standard infection control practices. It is essential that current hygiene practices are continued, including those related to the cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. Find out more by following this link.